Sunday, June 26, 2005
I have taken up the responsibility of someone’s surveying job not because “I generally do these jobs” as a colleague of mine put it but thought “lets see...” (Also because I intend to use the data in a research paper I am attempting to write). I don’t understand why do jobs like surveying, model making and 3d rendering have such a big (social, cultural, political etc. choose your pick) stigma attached. Is that a sign of lesser intelligence?
But anyways to all you people who thought surveying Cuffe Parade is boring (and beyond their intellectual standards) we landed up in a BEST Mac Lift buckets thanks to Namrata who requested aamchi Mumbai BEST kamgars who were only too happy to take both of us to the top of the world !
Saturday, June 25, 2005
I had this article as a part of my thesis and my previously sacrificed blog. I thought this would be an appropriate article, well choreographed by architect Anant Raje’s visit to the college.
The failures of modern architecture seem to be so strongly put forth that these days it almost seems a taboo to have or believe in the “big idea”. This “deficiency of faith” (as I call it) in architecture as a field often requires that one constantly keeps confirming with the client (providing the context) and the site. Intensely done on site data collection, interviewing “samples through a cross section” falling within the site, extremely efficient data archiving and analysis etc replaces the absence of need for a “big idea” which will not only need justification of sorts but also would tag the architect as being the “hero” architect (a derogatory term these days). I by no means am suggesting that all the above as a process is not essential but it also needs to be overlaid with meanings, poetry, paintings and all that we classify under “romantic” and with great pride we go ahead to challenge the notion of the “beautiful” as a concept. With “poetics of spaces” having no other refuge but phenomenology it becomes difficult to justify it as a result, without sounding rather imposing or naïve. Of course one cant help it when architects start talking about materials and buildings as animated characters falling, rising, beautiful lady-like swirling and much much more, and very soon we even witness a puppet show between “the poor brick” and “the Kahncrete”. ( e.g. I thought the building should look like a sperm whale jumping out of water and so…).
On the other hand the methodology of data collection and manufacturing of a product out of all the context and site forces it (I wont say it is easier as against the other) provides harder grounds to stand on. For any kind of intervention one deals with on site data which gets analyzed through pie diagrams graphs and other mathematics, it establishes context through mathematics of people’s responses of how many “YES” and how many “NO”. “What are the population, densities and lastly our friendly neighbourhood, “economics” of the site?” are some of the questions that become the unchallenged foundations of the intervention. With the absence of the “romantic” which is non-linear, non structural, and the architect changed from a designer to a mediator the only kind of poetry the architect can dare to allow for would be the poetry played by “the people”, by infesting the individual with the power of a “tactic”; leading to every housing project turning into a Ralph Erskine’s Byker wall. Of recently someone happened to advise me to dismantle the notion of ‘desire’ and talk about ‘needs’ and not stick to the “phenomenology jargon”. But anyways I will continue…
Architects almost apologetic about their profession with the guilt of “the act of building is an act of power”…often taking refuge under being an n.g.o, sensitive to understand the needs of the people and giving them exactly the same, nothing more, nothing less sometimes ignoring the fact that through poetics of space they as architects are in a position to do more.
I have just boarded the bandwagon as an architect now lets see “with great power comes great responsibility!”
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Decided to stick to the old name...i think it is phonetically interesting; breaks the seriousness of 'urban'...imagine the blog being 'urban research' or something like that. A little bit more phenomenological theorizing on 'floop' and i might just be able to push it in the oxford.
Urban Floop will be an experiment, archive and other things big and small that shall occupy my interest and I may want to record, retain, share beyond the scope of my short term memory...some postings may be vaguely related to something personal but I shall try to steer clear of personal day to day acts, grievances and courtships as I can knowing this to be a sort of balcony/terrace space...dwelling between semi public- semi private...some place vague.
Urban Floop will be a combined effort of all my confusions, misinterpretations and blind ambitions to create something vaguely fun to read...though at times I may take to using footnotes in order to assure the authenticity of the sources but mostly it will be true and everything will work out all right...